After yesterday’s bust of a hike on North Ridge, I felt like riding. So, off I set at 10:30 am from North Bend for a loop along the CCC road & trail and the Middle Fork trail. The weather was 75 F and 50% humidity so that I was pretty soaked the entire day.
The CCC Road is a lot of fun going downhill with plenty to keep one busy with all the water crossings. On the 100 yards between the CCC road and the CCC trail, I met 1 car and 5 motorbikes! It sure felt nice to be able to get right back on singletrack and have it all to myself. At the first water crossing, I hand-planted pretty hard as I couldn’t get unclipped after trying to jump over some rocks. I laid in the running creek for a minute as I realized that my wrist was still OK, and I’d be able to continue riding. Wheew. The CCC trail is fantastic and nothing much changed since the last time I visited there.
The Middle Fork campground was fully occupied. From there, I proceeded up the Middle Fork Rd. to the Dingford Creek waterfall. Beautiful! Then, across the bridge to the Middle Fork trail. The trail is techy and mucho fun! Only a few places are too wet, combined with rocks/roots/steep. Overall, the trail was in pretty good condition and all water crossings (and there were many) had been setup with rocks or logs. Thank you very much, whoever did this!
Past Goldmyer hot springs, I met Len Francies while I was taking a picture of a particularly nice spider web in the middle of trail. We chatted for a while and told him, that I was thinking of turning around as it was getting late. But, he encouraged me to keep going to the next bridge, or even higher up and take a nice break there by the river. It was definitely worth it to go up – the trail is very well maintained and almost all climbs were doable – a couple switchbacks added to the techy fun. There was one new tree down – this was the only maintenance issue on the trail. At the top (the Dutch Miller trailhead) the mosquitoes were pretty bad, so it wasn’t very relaxing. I was surprised that the way down was just as tricky as the ride up had been. Somehow, I thought that it should be easier, but wet root and rock sections with wet tires make for some interesting times. And that spider web that I had photographed earlier ended up in my helmet – including spider.
The lower section of the Middle Fork trail was a lot longer than I had estimated. Lots of great trail here, too! Overall, the Middle Fork adventure took 7:30 hours. At the end of the trail, I briefly considered taking the CCC road back, but as it was almost 9 pm (and I was getting tired, I admit), I took the Middle Fork Road all the way back to North Bend. I only encountered 5 cars in total – pretty nice.
64 miles, 6400 ft., 11:30 hours. In case you want to do this, here’s the GPX track